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Can Red Hat Do For OpenStack What It Did For Linux?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the making-it-pretty dept.

Red Hat Software 118

Brandon Butler writes "Red Hat made its first $1 billion commercializing Linux. Now, it hopes to make even more doing the same for OpenStack. Red Hat executives say OpenStack – the open source cloud computing platform – is just like Linux. The code just needs to be massaged into a commercially-hardened package before enterprises will really use it. But just because Red Hat successfully commercialized Linux does not guarantee its OpenStack effort will go as well. Proponents say businesses will trust Red Hat as an OpenStack distribution company because of its work in the Linux world. But others say building a private cloud takes a lot more than just throwing some code on top of a RHEL OS."

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RedHat be unsmart? (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#44031559)

But others say building a private cloud takes a lot more than just throwing some code on top of a RHEL OS

And somehow those "others" also believe Red Hat to be incapable of doing any more than just throwing some code on top of RHEL?

Re:RedHat be unsmart? (5, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#44031615)

Red Hat better hope that throwing on the code isn't all it takes. Being an Enterprise Linux company takes more than throwing code on top of the kernel, and that's why Red Hat made a billion dollars, and Slackware didn't (not trying to knock Slackware, just trying to contrast two fairly early distros I used 15 or so years ago).

If all it takes is the code, Red Hat is screwed.

Re:RedHat be unsmart? (1, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44031679)

Plenty of companies forgo Redhat contracts just as plenty of companies used to forgo Sun contracts.

The idea that you need someone else to blame is mainly an idea of a certain small group of large companies that are darlings of the financial news media.

Re:RedHat be unsmart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032551)

What was it again? "We spend all this money on Sun because I want one throat to choke." What a brilliant IT director he was.

Make a long story short, he no longer works here and it is all linux now. Still some Oracle DB's on Solaris.

mostly about support (1)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#44033975)

The company I'm with uses both redhat and centos (as well as other paid and free linux vendors).

Sometimes you want the paid-for support of a RedHat license. Other times it's an unnecessary expense.

Re:RedHat be unsmart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44034795)

Plenty of companies forgo Redhat contracts just as plenty of companies used to forgo Sun contracts.

The idea that you need someone else to blame is mainly an idea of a certain small group of large companies that are darlings of the financial news media.

It's because of their REPUTATION, not an express desire to buy insurance for everything. Needless to say, reputation matters a lot.

Not buying RedHat / Sun support contracts is like declining an extended manufacturer warranty for any other product...

Re:RedHat be unsmart? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44032187)

Remember those two are different targets.

Redhat is an enterprise Distro. Slackware is a hobbiest Distro Tow very different things. IT's like comparing Boeing to Cessna. They both make airplanes... but they both target completely different markets.

Re:RedHat be unsmart? (3, Insightful)

eric_herm (1231134) | about a year ago | (#44033271)

Well, that's the point, ie you need more than hobbyist. IE, when it come to be "enterprise" ready, people expect documentation, training, certification, support, and this is not free ( because while some people enjoy writing documentation or making support, there isn't that much people doing it for free ). And also, when you start to pay, you tend to expect someone to handle the sales, someone to negociate, etc, etc.

Re:RedHat be unsmart? (3, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#44033343)

"Redhat is an enterprise Distro. Slackware is a hobbiest Distro Tow very different things."

True that they are two different things, sure. Though they are actually extraordinarily similar (to the point I usually get modded down when I say that they should be treated as two different, though closely related, Operating Systems, rather than being carelessly referred to as 'Linux'.)

"IT's like comparing Boeing to Cessna. They both make airplanes... but they both target completely different markets."

A very misleading analogy. It's more like if Boeing and Cessna were both building a plane based on the same chassis and engine. Slackware just produces one that lifts off a thousand pounds lighter, has engines that produce more thrust, and a stark, functional control layout, and gives it away for free expecting whoever uses it to have pilots, airplane mechanics, etc. on staff and to do their own due diligence and accept their own liability, while Redhat produces a much heavier version on the same airframe that they essentially rent to you, under a support contract where their mechanics keep it flying and they accept (some of the) liability.

That analogy isnt great either actually but it's a lot better than one that implies that RHE is somehow going to 'lift more weight' than Slackware. Given the same hardware the opposite would be true.

Re:RedHat be unsmart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44034481)

Enterprise distro... really?!? LOL!!!

No.

Too many times I've seen oracle aka user processes consume so much memory and swap that RH"E"L is left in a hung state. How is it that a supposedly enterprise class O.S. would allow user processes to take up so much of the system resources that the kernel has nothing left to function? Why doesn't RH"E"L issue a segfault to the application instead of just shitting all over itself?

Enterprise class... LOL...

Re:RedHat be unsmart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44035233)

Who knows, maybe one day you'll learn a bit how to configure RHEL not to be in hung state due to Oracle processes. You might also Google this issue, since it's a *known* issue and there are fixes for it.

Kicking an OS just because you don't know how to deal with issues doesn't seem like a smart move.

Re:RedHat be unsmart? (1)

red crab (1044734) | about a year ago | (#44037591)

But others say building a private cloud takes a lot more than just throwing some code on top of a RHEL OS

And somehow those "others" also believe Red Hat to be incapable of doing any more than just throwing some code on top of RHEL?

Others in fact also believe Red Hat to be incapable of doing any more than just throwing some code on top of GNU/Linux.
This somewhat sounds more correct.

Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44031565)

Breaks one day because snapshots are a "Technology preview" and destroys all your disk images when RedHat releases a new update to RHEL7 production stable feed.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (5, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44031857)

What? You data isn't backed up ... three times?

And you patched a production server, without testing?

You're screwed because you didn't do your job. For the crap that happens with RedHat, if you're paying for that support, pointing fingers at RedHat for their part of the blunder is why you pay for that service. Everything else, is your problem.

If you did that while working for me, I'd fire you. Quit trying to impart your mom and pop Linux views on Enterprise environments.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (3, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44032207)

Ubuntu inherits Debian policy. Anything--supported or not--is not updated in any way that breaks things. You might not be able to get security patches for stuff in Universe or Multiverse in a timely manner without rolling and submitting it yourself; but they won't go releasing a package that no longer does X when X worked before. The idea is that, if your configuration works, it will continue to work *exactly* the way you have it without modification no matter which version of the package you have across the entire lifecycle of a stable release--if it doesn't, that's a bug and they need to undo that breakage. Extending is fine, breaking is *not* acceptable.

RedHat on the other hand released RHEL 6.4 and removed crmsh, the configuration system for Pacemaker, to be replaced with PCS. This wasn't documented in the release notes, either. Suddenly things that configure high-availability fail-over on RHEL 6 don't work. Running the same tools/scripts/whatnot breaks. This is still RHEL 6 stable, and under Debian policy that's not supposed to happen. RedHat doesn't have such a policy, so it happens.

That means you're persistently at risk of reaching a situation where your patching priority demands increased resources: I can continue to patch Ubuntu while my dev team comfortably works on readying our stuff for the next LTS or the next 9 month release, usually; but one day RHEL has patches and I either don't upgrade as my company's security policy dictates OR we find resources (meaning, sometimes, hire more people) to step up the porting process.

With RHEL, the risk is that we may need more manpower (labor cost--salaries) to support the same security policy; and that we may still not be able to keep in step as quickly as with a Debian-style update policy (i.e. there may be greater lag time as we rewrite scripts and configurations and do more dev testing before releasing patches). On top of that, we're faced with the risk of more frequent large roll-outs--things that worked in dev might not work in production, and now we're rolling out a patch that breaks production along with a bunch of patches to production to un-break it, and hoping that it all works in production.

Yes, I blame RHEL for this.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44032411)

So, basically you patch production machines without testing. Gotcha.

Hell, I don't even do this(patch w/o testing) with Ubuntu OR Windows systems. Patching breaks things. Eventually.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44032439)

Not everybody has a dev environment for everything.

Not everything works because it's been tested. Every time we release something out of software in-house dev, it goes through a month of dev testing. Then... it breaks 15 minutes after it's released, and takes 3 hours to un-break.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032785)

Not everybody has a dev environment for everything.

Why the hell not? It's 2013 and virtualization is cheap.

Not everything works because it's been tested. Every time we release something out of software in-house dev, it goes through a month of dev testing. Then... it breaks 15 minutes after it's released, and takes 3 hours to un-break.

It sounds like your team is pretty bad at testing, then. Do you have dev or staging servers? Do they mirror the production setup? Is software versioning equivalent between the two (I'm talking distribution + supporting packages, clearly, not the software you're releasing)? Have you load tested to make sure your new shit isn't introducing something that will crush all resources in its path as soon as X people hit it? Do you have proper tests set up?

"Every time" is terrible, and I don't know your organization, but I'm pretty sure you should feel terrible, if only for having to work in such an environment.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (2)

TENTH SHOW JAM (599239) | about a year ago | (#44034935)

You don't have a dev environment... Go grab 2 workstations and a switch and MAKE ONE NOW!

It also sounds like your testing regime needs working on. Devs do not say the code is ready. Users do. They get to break it 15 minutes into the test. They don't have to follow the Official Tests. This is called User Acceptance Testing. Devs will whinge about this because their mistakes are hi-lighted and "It worked for them" I speak from experience. I hate when users fail my code. But it's my fault, and I need to make my code better.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036279)

As a dev, I LOVE it when users break my code during UAT. Absolutely LOVE it. That's because I'd prefer to get my ass chewed over when the code is in UAT and we can (relatively) leisurely get it fixed.

The alternative, of course, is having to fix it in production, with 87 layers of management and critsit nazis breathing down our necks asking for a status update every seven point two seconds.

That's NOT so nice :-)

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036825)

Not everybody has a dev environment for everything.

True. But the context is professional. You know - how business should be run.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44034109)

I think his point is that with Debian, you do not need to hire additional staff just to work around breakage caused by your linux distribution.

It is insane to run a business where your "vendor", by policy, is actively breaking things on you.

We have _many_ Debian boxes and a few RH boxes (where a commercial vendor would only support their product running on RH). It is true where I work too that the RH boxes require disproportionate resources to maintain. It is pretty sad. But, if you do not have any qualified staff, then perhaps a support contract is worth the extra pain of using RH?

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (3, Informative)

eric_herm (1231134) | about a year ago | (#44033441)

I am sure that your company policy should include "do not use Technology preview on production servers". If it doesn't, then I suggest to add it, and then complain that using RHEL do not have the packages you need, if you want to switch to Debian. That would be much more smoother. than trying to blame the vendor for your lack of clue regarding what is supported and what is not ( especially when comparing to Ubuntu, where you do not even have the guarantee that Mark will not change his mind and just stop the project, or focus it on something else, like they did on the desktop, on bzr, and several stuff )

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44033519)

Ubuntu has many schoolboy errors. They broke X completely in an LTS and don't fix any bugs whatsoever regardless of anything.
Debian fixes bugs if they are severe enough. Redhat fixes them (And does other stuff like backporting hardware support etc). As long as you follow the best practices docs from Redhat for whatever release then you won't have problems. If you don't want to do that don't use Redhat (Or Software that is only certified on it).

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#44033753)

Ubuntu ships a lot of packages, but very few are actually supported.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036835)

Ubuntu has many schoolboy errors.

Please try and remember that Debian is what Ubuntu was before the retards fucked with it. The sort of retards who can't work with Slackware or RedHat, who don't run backups or test before deploying updates. Change control - it separates the wannabes from the professionals.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (2)

AdamWill (604569) | about a year ago | (#44035865)

"RedHat on the other hand released RHEL 6.4 and removed crmsh, the configuration system for Pacemaker, to be replaced with PCS. This wasn't documented in the release notes, either. Suddenly things that configure high-availability fail-over on RHEL 6 don't work. Running the same tools/scripts/whatnot breaks. This is still RHEL 6 stable, and under Debian policy that's not supposed to happen. RedHat doesn't have such a policy, so it happens."

Well, that's not entirely accurate. Pacemaker is a Technology Preview in RHEL 6. This is a term with a very precise meaning (documented in your support contract and whatknot): https://access.redhat.com/site/solutions/21101 [redhat.com] .

"Technology Preview features are currently unsupported, may not be functionally complete, and are not suitable for deployment in production. However, these features are provided to the customer as a courtesy and the primary goal is for the feature to gain wider exposure with the goal of full support in the future."

Given those attributes, it's not generally considered a big deal to change TPs in non-compatible ways in point releases. A change to an actual supported RHEL feature would be a much bigger deal.

Re:Show what an inferior OpenStack might look like (1)

eric_herm (1231134) | about a year ago | (#44033283)

https://access.redhat.com/support/offerings/techpreview/ [redhat.com]

What part of "no garantee" is hard to understand ?Seriously, if you cannot spare a system to test, that's not a reason to test it on production when the vendor explictely say "do not do it".

"technology preview" not for production use (3, Informative)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#44034017)

What part of "...these features are not fully supported under Red Hat Enterprise Linux Subscription Level Agreements, may not be functionally complete, and are not intended for production use." didn't make sense?

Why were you using a technology preview feature in production when they explicitly say not to?

The headline is a question and the answer is Yes (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#44031623)

I think this is a headline that breaks the law of headlines which says the answer to a headline that is a question is always no. Red Hat certainly CAN do for OpenStack what they did for Linux. That does not mean that they will do so, even if they put the necessary effort into it. The last statement of the summary is irrelevant because Red Hat certainly knows that and almost certainly understands the magnitude of the project they are undertaking here. Red Hat is the sort of company that can do this. However, the project is complicated enough that they may fail.

Re:The headline is a question and the answer is Ye (3, Interesting)

atom1c (2868995) | about a year ago | (#44033149)

I concur.

I took OpenStack for a spin last week and I like where they're going. It brings the CLI access from the AWS world with the mature web-based deployment tools of Azure -- and allows for GCE-type sophisticated apps to run within their contexts. This unique combination has made it appealing for me -- and surely whets the appetites for tons of onlookers who are waiting for the chips to fall before making any company-wide commitments.

Ostensibly, they'll have to endure 2-3 major outages in the next few years before seeing the commitments its customer base truly has with them. Hopefully they don't endure any major outages... although they do run atop the AWS IaaS platform...

Re:The headline is a question and the answer is Ye (1)

pankakekid (2954177) | about a year ago | (#44033231)

...t because Red Hat certainly knows that and almost certainly understands the magnitude of the project they are undertaking here. Red Hat is the sort of company that can do this. However, the project is complicated enough that they may fail.

Can't their Openstack product just use Red Hat's existing build, test, and QA processes? Development still happens in the community, they just have to track/patch bugs and offer support, populate some new channels in RHN with software, figure out how to charge for their build. Perhaps they'll hire some Openstack project leaders - heck, maybe they already work at Red Hat.

In the end, I think the biggest winner may be RHEV. If greater focus on Openstack development and support means that some of the Openstack components (like networking, one of the areas where RHEV desperately needs more flexibility/functionality) end up in RHEV, it'll truly be a competitor to VMWare.

Re:The headline is a question and the answer is Ye (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#44033451)

I don't see any reason to expect Red Hat to fail, but I can think of several ways that they could fail (one of them being reinventing the wheel when it comes to build, test and QA processes rather than using the processes they already have).

Cloud computing platform (5, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44031669)

After all these years I still don't know what that is supposed to mean. I know about servers, FTP, server-side languages, etc. But "cloud computing platform" just sounds like a buzzword clusterfuck from the marketing department.

If I look on wikipedia [wikipedia.org] then even a simple website with a CMS is "cloud computing".

Re:Cloud computing platform (2)

ADRA (37398) | about a year ago | (#44031733)

Self managed OS based hosting entirely from the internet (no physical access). That's it bud. Anything else is just window dressing.

Re:Cloud computing platform (1)

jekewa (751500) | about a year ago | (#44034299)

You're talking PAAS (or IAAS) there, which while a big part of it isn't the only part of it. SAAS is another big part of it, and that can be run from within any infrastructure, so there may be physical access (which is the only point I'm contending).

I agree that it's really what anyone working on Internet (usually software) contributes. Your blog or your wicked REST service, your server, your workstation, your router...all the cloud. And yeah, that remote machine you think you have all to yourself that runs what seems to be a server you think you own that is running some software (FTP, HTTP, SMTP, SSH, whatever...) contributing to the greatness that makes the Internet the big lumpy blob on so many diagrams...the cloud.

NIST definition - Cloud computing (3, Informative)

dwheeler (321049) | about a year ago | (#44031831)

You might look at "The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing": http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-145/SP800-145.pdf [nist.gov] - it's one-and-a-half pages once you skip the boilerplate.

Re:NIST definition - Cloud computing (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44031921)

The fact that "cloud computing" needs 1.5 pages for definition alone is proof that the concept was created by the Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

Re:NIST definition - Cloud computing (1)

FreeUser (11483) | about a year ago | (#44031953)

The fact that "cloud computing" needs 1.5 pages for definition alone is proof that the concept was created by the Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

And here I thought it was Tyrell Corp, developing it as a ploy to use up the limited lifespan of any Android foolish enough to escape their servitude.

Re:NIST definition - Cloud computing (1, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44031977)

Honest to god, those motherfuckers are going to be first up against the wall when the Revolution comes. Them and Congress.

Re:NIST definition - Cloud computing (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year ago | (#44032055)

MBAs and Lawyers. No need to be so specific.

Re:NIST definition - Cloud computing (2)

Burning1 (204959) | about a year ago | (#44033415)

It doesn't really need 1.5 pages of description.

Cloud computing is a strong abstraction layer between the physical machine and the logical machine. It's very similar in concept to memory virtualization - each process is given it's own address space, and really doesn't understand or care how that address space maps to physical memory. In a cloud computing environment, you request a new machine, and the cloud computing infrastructure automatically allocates a machine based on your requirements. The abstraction layer allows your physical hardware to be treated as a pool of resources, that can be expanded, repaired, or replaced without much concern about the impact to the logical machines it supports.

Cloud computing doesn't necessarily require virtualization either; physical computers can be provisioned using cloud infrastructure; https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Baremetal [openstack.org]

Re:NIST definition - Cloud computing (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44034303)

In short, the hardware is virtualized and virtual machines run inside the virtual hardware sounds like running a GameBoy emulator for PSP inside a PSP emulator for Windows.

Re:Cloud computing platform (4, Interesting)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#44031903)

Cloud computing is less of a definition about what it is, and more about how it's used. The general idea of cloud computing is to offload storage and applications from your local setup (workstation, network, etc) onto something "in the cloud" which basically means the internet.

The industry does a really poor job explaining that not all cloud experiences are the same, however. I've seen some cloud providers basically just offering seats to a Windows RDP server, which may not sound all that special to you or I, but they've managed to carve a business out of it.

Re:Cloud computing platform (1)

div_2n (525075) | about a year ago | (#44033025)

Not necessarily the internet. You can have a private cloud. And also not necessarily offloading from your local setup. Storage, for example, might be local but synced into the cloud. Or computing resources might be local and scale up dynamically to the cloud as the workload demands.

Modern cloud architectures seem to be working towards an experience as seamless as possible between what's local and what's not -- i.e. not just have your computer/phone be a dumb terminal to some remote app.

Re:Cloud computing platform (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#44033073)

Keep in mind that I was speaking in very general terms. Of course there can and will be variations to the whole process, which doesn't help the confusion at all. Yes, you can have a private cloud that's hosted on a local network, or maybe even through an MPLS or something, but anyone who's dealing with that configuration probably doesn't need to ask what cloud computing means in the first place.

Cloud computing is still very much a consumer term, and I don't know any admins who even use it unless they are talking to a client or manager. For most of us, it's all just "networking."

Re:Cloud computing platform (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031985)

Here's my take: simple website with CMS, not a cloud.

Cloud would be a pool of servers, offering up resources (virtual machines, in my case, could be CMS-es) in such a way that the resource is not directly concerned with the underlying hardware. So I could take 5 servers, tie them together with OpenStack, and then fire up a number of virtual machines. The virtual machines aren't started on one particular physical box, as I do in a cluster; I'd start them in the cloud stack, and that deals with what hardware they're actually using. I add another 5 servers, I can run more virtual machines, but I still don't need to worry about which server, exactly, they are running on.

Bear in mind, I'm interested in this but haven't actually done it yet, so my perception may be wrong.

Re:Cloud computing platform (3, Insightful)

pLnCrZy (583109) | about a year ago | (#44032193)

What you're describing is virtualization.

"Cloud" is a stupid buzzword that quite simply means "resides on someone else's stuff."

Whether it's Amazon's stuff, Rackspace's stuff, or Microsoft's stuff -- it's not your stuff. You don't worry about physical servers, disks, or OS (in many cases.) Take it a level higher and if your cloud service includes databases or middleware, you don't worry about that either. Or even applications. Amazon's Elastic Beanstalk basically lets you publish your website code directly to it and the rest is magic that you don't have to mess with.

Then we turn it all around and create "private clouds" which means "we want to be trendy but don't trust someone else's stuff."

The pundits and pedants will mix in all kinds of semi-fabricated points about things that "must" be true in order for something to qualify as a "cloud," private or not, such as auto-provisioning and/or automated management, etc.

We used to call it "hosted services." Some marketing knob decided that the industry needed a more bandwagonny word for people to latch onto. Thus the term "cloud" was born, and it continues to be confused, misunderstood, and abused in perpetuity -- a condition that illustrates what a huge failure the very forces that coined this nonsense have done in making it clear to the consuming public what it actually is supposed to be about.

Re:Cloud computing platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032831)

What you're describing is virtualization.

No, I'm quite familiar with virtualization - I have built a Centos-based cluster, running a number of KVM virtual machines & replicating over DBRD. That works well, but each node of the cluster is really doing its own thing.

The way I see a cloud being useful, is that instead of having a tight coupling between the individual virtual machines and the nodes, the openstack (or whatever) software sits between the nodes and the vms. So in the background I can add or remove nodes to the "cloud", and the virtual machines are unaffected; I can spin up more or less, as I need, and they interact with the physical hardware through openstack, which *should* simplify the management of lots of vms.

I do think it's different than hosted services, though as I said before, I haven't actually done anything with openstack.

Re:Cloud computing platform (1)

pLnCrZy (583109) | about a year ago | (#44033157)

So in the background I can add or remove nodes to the "cloud", and the virtual machines are unaffected; I can spin up more or less, as I need, and they interact with the physical hardware through openstack, which *should* simplify the management of lots of vms.

No, what you're describing is virtualization.

Virtualization management tools do exactly what you just said. You add resources to your pool, and your VM management system decides how to utilize the backend resources within the guidelines that you've configured. VMware, as one example, uses what they call DRS ( Distributed Resources Scheduler) to monitor and reallocate VM load across physical hosts.

Managing VMs with abstraction tools is not a "cloud." It's managing your virtualization infrastructure.

This reinforces my earlier point exactly -- the term "cloud" is far too ambiguous. Virtualization management is *part* of what makes a "cloud" but it does not make a cloud on its own (by most definitions).

Re:Cloud computing platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44033513)

the term "cloud" is far too ambiguous. Virtualization management is *part* of what makes a "cloud" but it does not make a cloud on its own (by most definitions).

Well, I'm glad I don't need a cloud, then! I haven't used DRS, but if OpenStack lets me do that type of thing with KVM machines I'll be happy, and I won't call it a cloud :)

Re:Cloud computing platform (1)

dave420 (699308) | about a year ago | (#44037779)

"Cloud" refers to the VMs being somewhere else, usually accessible over the internet or private network. Cloud computing is a superset of virtualisation. Getting all angry because the two ideas overlap is not going to help you.

Re:Cloud computing platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032631)

But "cloud computing platform" just sounds like a buzzword clusterfuck from the marketing department.

Even worse, a marketing department behind the curve. The current buzzword of choice is "Software Defined Data Center".

Re:Cloud computing platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44034043)

I can't speak to the vague "cloud computing", but recently I tried to wrap my head around what OpenStack is. My take is that it's "infrastructure as a service", or at the simplest term virtual machines, but the OpenStack infrastructure is supposed to make creating virtual machines as easy as web page clicks. OS handles the storage, hypervisor, VM hosting and some other stuff.

I dertermined that while I *could* implement OpenStack in my home lab and play with it and maybe learn a thing or two, I wouldn't gain an advantage over using any number of other hypervisors on my handful of old PCs^H^H^H lab servers.

Re:Cloud computing platform (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#44036251)

If you think of a development diagram where you map the interfaces of your application, often times the back end will be a cloud similar to this [philipotoole.com] image which isn't the best example but all I could pull up in a hurry. It basically means we don't really care what's in this part of the application as that is someone else's responsibility.

Things like AWS gives you the illusion of a full server in their cloud. The idea being you don't care what the back end is, you just care on the unit of performance they provide and "trust" they are doing the right thing in the back ground.

Probably won't.... (3, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | about a year ago | (#44031751)

RHEL has been angling at shooting down vmware in the enterprise space. They have made a go of it with RHEV-M and thusfar have failed to get traction. This is despite RHEV-M having a lot of the most common capabilities available that vmware offers. It's a tad different and in some ways exposing users to quirks that don't make a lot of sense (vmware has its own quirks, but being first has advantages). Openstack in general is aimed in a pretty divergent direction than where vSphere went and isn't particularly well off in heading even in that direction. If RH couldn't dislodge vSphere with a solution that matches capabilities, I can't imagine how they come back with a less resilient architecture and suddenly be view favorably...

Re:Probably won't.... (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about a year ago | (#44032067)

I only disagree, because there is definitely a groundswell out there for an alternative to VMWare. In practice VMWare isn't as stable as it's claimed (although it is quite resilient) it comes down to dollars, and there are legions unwilling to pay...

Re:Probably won't.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032191)

The fiasco with the high memory licensing has lead many people to look for alternatives.

Re:Probably won't.... (1)

barc0001 (173002) | about a year ago | (#44032335)

" I can't imagine how they come back with a less resilient architecture and suddenly be view favorably..."

I can $ee how they might $way potential cu$tomer$ away from v$phere. vSphere is very pricy and a hard sell. With ESXi, they get you with the "first one's free" mentality, but the jump from free ESXi to paying for ESX for small installations is VERY steep. Red Hat could compete by having a better pricing model. Whether they will or not is another question.

"but being first has advantages"

A guy I used to work with always said in the end all pioneers ended up with were arrows in their backs, while the settlers moved in on their unmarked graves. That's usually true. VMWare has already put their foot wrong several times with their base, the most recent time springs to mind when they tried changing the licensing price by tying it to blocks of RAM instead of physical machines and their entire user base almost revolted. They'd better be careful as competitors start to match their feature set more.

Re:Probably won't.... (1)

pankakekid (2954177) | about a year ago | (#44032425)

RHEL has been angling at shooting down vmware in the enterprise space. They have made a go of it with RHEV-M and thusfar have failed to get traction. This is despite RHEV-M having a lot of the most common capabilities available that vmware offers..

Our 300-VM RHEV 3.1 stack dates back to the beta test of RHEV in 2009. IMHO, companies claim certain capabilities, but the actual implementation can vary widely in terms of sophistication. Our RHEV infrastructure has certain characteristics we like: built on open source/standards, excellent performance and security, inexpensive to license. In other areas like management tools, storage migration, power management, etc.. the list goes on, our RHEV solution can't match comparable VMWare offerings.

I like RHEV and plan to continue to use it, I hope this Openstack push doesn't mean RHEV is no longer a priority.

Re:Probably won't.... (1)

hetz (516550) | about a year ago | (#44035289)

My guess (based on past experience with RHEL road) is that you may see RHEV 3.x versions with fixes (like RHEL 6.x), but RHEV 4 will probably be Open Stack (or Open Stack based solution). Red Hat is already working hard on Open Stack and you can see it in the Fedora releases.

hype (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031779)

I hope Openstack will become less hype and more usable now that RedHat is on it.

All These Clouds Are Gonna Make It Rain. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031813)

Then we will all be sad.

Re:All These Clouds Are Gonna Make It Rain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031973)

Some stay dry while others feel the pain

Red Hat was not flying solo. (1)

Medievalist (16032) | about a year ago | (#44031851)

If it wasn't for SuSe, Slackware, Mandrake and a few others Red Hat would have gone under. Commercialization of Linux was a team effort, despite the shameless historical revisionism of the article lead.

Re:Red Hat was not flying solo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032093)

Yes, back when Red Hat was in its expansion phase there was still SuSE. And if there hadn't been either of those two, someone else with good business skills and ability to collaborate with the community would've stepped up to the plate. Linux was already ready for the enterprise.

Now we're in a situation where businesses are definitely interested in the cloud, but what about a common cloud infrastructure stack? It's not so clear that this is necessary. If an upstart announced they were developing a car based on an "open drivetrain platform", that might be interesting, but I'm not going to buy the car unless they can provide value and reliability at least as good as what we have in the market today.

Linus just cursed out someone's dead hampster when he saw this headline.

Do what they did for Linux? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44031861)

You mean ruin it?

I kid, I kid...

Break things that used to work? Sure (1, Interesting)

FreeUser (11483) | about a year ago | (#44031871)

Can Red Hat do for Open Stack what it did for Linux?

If by that, do you mean can Red Hat break things that have worked perfectly for years (clustering in FC13-16 vs 17+, and the godawful mess that is systemd replacing perfectly servicable and reliable UNIX mainstays such as sysv init, etc.), then the answer is most definitely:

YES

On a recent conference call with Red Hat, they dismissed Open Stack and touted their own proprietary products for "cloudy" type infrastructure. Bringing fuel into the fold won't be any different...they'll downplay open source fuel and tout their own version, with layers of proprietary, opaque add-ons of questionable value. The RH version will lag a version or two behind the upstream free version, and probably suffer some breakage due to RH addons. Same song as before, different day.

Re:Break things that used to work? Sure (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032047)

TLDR; blah blah blah, get off my lawn.

Re:Break things that used to work? Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032519)

Yeah, clearly he said nothing of substance and was just being old. Fuck off.

Re:Break things that used to work? Sure (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44035013)

He didn't say anything of substance. Anyone who uses Fedora (hasn't been core since ... 7 or 8) and expects it to never break is a moron. IT'S A DEVELOPMEN DISTRO. That's as stupid as me using Gentoo and being mad that I have to wait for shit to compile. Use the right distro moron.

Second, it reeks of "They changed my stuff, I'm mad. You young people will never implement something better than good old Unix how I used it" Guess what, SYSVInit is shit. It needs to be replaced. If you don't want to, keep using it. Redhat wants to implement a decent replacement (which won't be perfect on first release obviously,) so they gradually implement it in their testbed distro to eventually use it as the base in their stable distro. And guess what, systemd is awesome. Is it the same shit we've gotten used to? no. Will we need to learn new stuff? yes. Is it for the better? yes.

Anyone who doens't want to deal with change shouldn't work in IT. The field will never stop changing. I like stability just as much as the next guy, which is why I use RHEL on my servers, not Fedora. So yes,
TLDR; blah blah blah, get off my lawn.

Re:Break things that used to work? Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032877)

Well, in their defense, FC is supposed to be bleeding edge, so moving forward there isn't necessarily a terrible thing. If you value stability you're using RHEL or CentOS or something. (Or Debian...)

Re:Break things that used to work? Sure (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44034281)

This post is so full of misinformation it's ridiculous.

RH dismissed OpenStack in a recent conference call? That seems kind of odd seeing that they are contributing heavily to it now, and Red Hat Summit was just last week where they, you know, didn't dismiss it.

Re:Break things that used to work? Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036475)

Additionally it was also a pretty big launch for them at *last* year's Red Hat summit - that's when they released their first packaged preview for RHEL based on Essex.

Re:Break things that used to work? Sure (1)

hetz (516550) | about a year ago | (#44035311)

Fedora (the "Core" part of the name was removed in Fedora 7 IIRC) IS MEANT to be a DEVELOPMENT version. Version X has ABC, Version Y - the ABC has been kicked out of the window. Red Hat team mention it in big letters!

Want stable? either buy RHEL or use CentOS.

Hope so (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032035)

Let's face it, OpenStack isn't the easiest thing to work with. Like the early Linux days, things were changing by the day/release. Red Hat (and other distros too) were able to tame it a bit and make it stable enough for people who needed it to work. They've already got an 'in' with lots of fortune 500 companies, and they're likely at a state where they have a lot of hardware but are starting to look at cloud computing. Giving those companies an easy way to turn their hardware into a private cloud for less (or easier) than VMWare becomes a real opportunity for them.

I've been tinkering with the Red Hat RDO on CentOS. While installation is a lot easier than when I tried devstack a few months ago, there's still a lot of work to be done, but it's getting there.

oVirt and Deltacloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032161)

Red Hat plans to integrate OpenStack with oVirt Node (oVirt Node becoming a target for OpenStack deployments besides just oVirt clusters).

Red Hat is putting Swift to bed and attempting to replace it with UFO (Swift APIs atop Gluster).

The end result might look like Red Hat gutting OpenStack and replacing components with its more mature Emerging Technologies Lab products.

Obama, PRISM, NSA killed the cloud (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032179)

The cloud is dead. Dump your stock, and move your stuff back inhouse before your vendor goes broke, and stuff just stops working in the middle of the night and YOUR phone starts to ring because it is YOUR problem.

This is only one of the massive repercussions.

"A phantom limb is the sensation that an amputated or missing limb (even an organ, like the appendix) is still attached to the body and is moving appropriately"

The undenied Snowden leak makes the massive spying official. It is no longer a myth, a conspiracy theory. It is public record. It must be dealt with.

So can the 'oh they have been doing it for years' crap. And the if 'everybody else is doing it' as an excuse for committing crimes against humanity.

Don't dress the cloud up in 'open source' and 'linux' and try to steal the good will and Karma of Linux either.

THE CLOUD IS DEAD.

Fives Stages of Grief

1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance.

But the industry is still in the DENIAL stage, has a long ways to go yet. I know. I understand. It's hard. Especially when they did it too themselves.

Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and the rest destroyed trust, violated privacy, but they still expect to sell a Cloud? Clouds are based on massive trust and privacy!

Re:Obama, PRISM, NSA killed the cloud (3, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year ago | (#44034259)

In this case we're talking about products and infrastructure for building in-house clouds... in a lot of ways cloud-style infrastructure management on internal servers makes sense, as you can allocate resources generically, as needed so long as your IT systems departments keep a margin of available infrastructure so that departments can spin up/down projects as needed.

Will only succeed if OpenStack exists on its own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032349)

As was written in the article – openstack is the perfect opportunity for Red Hat. Red Hat can't sell products on a brand name (it's still smaller than Oracle, SAP or Microsoft). Its sweet spot is to get a tech adopted on its own merits, and then emerge as the best supplier. I'm quite certain it would sell more JBoss software if there existed a credible second JBoss source on the market (like suse exists in the linux enterprise space). As it stands a lot of fortune 500 companies will give part of their market to Oracle or IBM even if they like JBoss, because JBoss is Red Hat-only and they want an exit strategy.

Now, kvm was the same kind of opportunity and it let journalists and its own marketing portray it as a Red Hat technology. So instead of a no-brainer open solution, kvm became just another proprietary software trap in the mind of lots of CIOs (and VMWare is a lot better than Red Hat at selling proprietary stuff). The RHEV branding was IMHO a huge mistake. Red Hat should have emphasized kvm, not its own name.

To succeed, Red Hat needs to invest enough in Openstack to be the most likely to win Openstack tenders, but not so much as to crowd out other credible Openstack suppliers. It's an incredibly difficult dance. It's totally contrary to the training of all its salespeople (they will try to capture all of it because of bonuses, and frighten customers). And I expect we'll see many 'Openstack, this Red Hat-only solution' from vmware/microsoft-sponsored journalists, if it starts to work.

Red Hat needs a Suse for openstack quickly. It can not play nicer/better openstack supplier otherwise.

Re:Will only succeed if OpenStack exists on its ow (1)

eric_herm (1231134) | about a year ago | (#44033509)

Technically, JBoss has compatible competitors with Websphere and others.

And there is plenty of competitor on openstack, be it Suse openstack offering, or stuff like cloudstack.

Re:Will only succeed if OpenStack exists on its ow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037155)

Sure JBoss has competitors. But they aren't JBoss the way Suse is still Linux.

That means anyone selecting JBoss has already selected Red Hat, and needs to think about what will happen if relationship with Red Hat sours at once, while Linux can be selected way before any supplier is chosen (and Red Hat/Suse/Debian junkies can all hope their pet variant will be chosen at this stage).

Don't underestimate the amount of obstruction people with "anyone but foo supplier" attitude can mount (when foo is not dominant enough you can't escape it anyway).

They will face some steep competition (2)

brunes69 (86786) | about a year ago | (#44032391)

IBM is investing big into OpenStack. They talk about it all over the place.

Rackspace is also investing big into OpenStack.

Both of these players dwarf RedHat.

Re:They will face some steep competition (2)

thule (9041) | about a year ago | (#44034457)

I thought Rackspace works closely with RedHat. So Rackspace probably gets a pretty good deal if they run RHEL.

So what's up with ovirt? (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | about a year ago | (#44032529)

I thought RedHat was throwing its weight behind oVirt [ovirt.org] . OpenStack from the beginning has been very cobbled together and even still is a major pain to set up from scratch. Although oVirt hasn't been around as long, it definitely has a more mature interface as far as I'm concerned. It was my understanding that RedHat was the major player behind oVirt and was looking to make it their cloud platform of choice.

Re:So what's up with ovirt? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44032799)

Yeah well, before that they were the major player behind what, Xen? And had the only decent management tools for it? They change their mind about this every week. I'll believe it when I see it.

Re:So what's up with ovirt? (2)

cblack (4342) | about a year ago | (#44033119)

Yeah well, before that they were the major player behind what, Xen?

Xen: yes, they were behind Xen for a while years ago. The community and experts moved on to KVM, so did RedHat.

And had the only decent management tools for it?

I don't see how this is a question. Maybe they did, idunno. Hardly matters now that relatively few people still use Xen.

They change their mind about this every week. I'll believe it when I see it.

No they don't. And you won't believe it when you see it because you won't recognize it.
Because you're dumb.

Re:So what's up with ovirt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44033691)

Citrix has a reasonable amount of experts (And they can do Linux / UNIX or Windows properly probably better than anyone).

People who don't like Xen are generally people who don't understand it properly. If you team is not competent enough to write their own tools then hire some people to do instead of just giving the money to vmware.

Re:So what's up with ovirt? (1)

cblack (4342) | about a year ago | (#44033143)

oVirt is a virtualization management tool. It controls lower virtualization layers like KVM.

KVM is the virtualization structure in the Linux kernel

Re:So what's up with ovirt? (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | about a year ago | (#44033579)

Openstack doesn't control lower virtualization layers like KVM? Openstack isn't a virtualization management tool? You might want to re-think those distinctions.

Re:So what's up with ovirt? (1)

thule (9041) | about a year ago | (#44033145)

oVirt is part of the RHEV product. RHEV is compared to VMWare. OpenStack is something different, but they both use KVM for virtualization. OpenStack is for computing on demand. RHEV, like VMWare is designed to manage the full life cycle of a OS and application deployment.

Re:So what's up with ovirt? (1)

pankakekid (2954177) | about a year ago | (#44033307)

They are. oVirt is the basis for the underlying part of RHEV. I think oVirt and Openstack have some different design objectives, but in practice, there's a lot of functional overlap. I hope Openstack's modular nature (from what I understand, having not looked at the code) allows for some cross-pollination with oVirt/RHEV

Will it be as broken as Fedora? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032967)

Red Hat's quality has gone down the tubes in recent releases of Fedora. I don't mean the experimental side (wow, someone thought Gnome 3 was a good idea), I mean breaking stuff that's always worked and creating a gigantic awful mess like having to download packages to upgrade Fedora when you have an install DVD. The goal of Fedora seems to be to create the most brokenness possible. So if they apply this to OpenStack, they're going to be in a world of hurt. Red Hat ought to sit down and have a quality control meeting before they do anything else. (I say this as a long, long time user of Fedora/Red Hat Linux going back to version Red Hat Linux 5 or whatever. I'm a loyal Red Hat person, at least until recently.)

Developers need a "Fedora" version of OpenStack to test with before deploying to the real cloud. How do I get a test instance running on my Linux box?

Re:Will it be as broken as Fedora? (3, Informative)

eric_herm (1231134) | about a year ago | (#44033541)

You can try openstack on Fedora, or look at RDO ( http://openstack.redhat.com/Main_Page [redhat.com] ).

And Fedora is as broken as the community make it broken. If there is no one to make bug reports, triage them, make QA, then yeah, this slip. There is lots of way to help on this part, from giving karma to update testing and testing prerelease.

Re:Will it be as broken as Fedora? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036817)

As many others have pointed out, Fedora is not a production OS, it's considered the upstream version of RHEL! Fedora is where the heavy lifting goes on with regards to development. Where do you think RHEL 7 will get much of it's underlying components? They will come from Fedora 15-17 ish.

As for your comment about people not being there to take bug reports and act upon them, you are speaking from a very ignorant position. There were several test days in the last two months centering around various aspects of Fedora including Spice, Virtualization and FreeeIPA. (https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/QA/Test_Days?rd=Test_Day)

Re:Cloud computing platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44033177)

After all these years I still don't know what that is supposed to mean. I know about servers, FTP, server-side languages, etc. But "cloud computing platform" just sounds like a buzzword clusterfuck from the marketing department.

If I look on wikipedia [wikipedia.org] then even a simple website with a CMS is "cloud computing".

you are a dumbass calling asking this question in 2013

and you call yourself an IT professional?

OpenStack.. (1)

AdmV0rl0n (98366) | about a year ago | (#44033215)

I did some testing with it. Its good, but its clearly work in progress, and a technical marvel. But its also lacking the tools and toolset for deployment, and management. The only cloud winners will in the end be the ones that have great toolsets and management. If something in the end remains a huge mass of spagetti that only finite skilled souls can pull together and run, then it will be eaten alive.

I have not tested JuJu, but that seems to be like the kind of deployable real world end user tooling that this is going to require.

Re:OpenStack.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44033591)

Juju is nice until you start looking at the way everything is deployed ( ie the charms ), coming from random ppa, using non portable tricks outside of Ubuntu, etc.

I would rather trust puppet and the various orchestration system, or ansible to make saner things than most of the charm. The system is great in itself, do not get me wrong, but yeah, random PPA, not gonna work.

OpenStack as Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44033365)

Why [slashdot.org] do the /. editors/storywriters/shills/voices of the people/etc. keep making this comparison? What marketer somewhere decided "Let's call it the new Linux!" ?

Jesus! I hope not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44034557)

That would be terrible.

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